A watershed approach is a flexible framework for managing water resource quality and quantity within specified drainage areas or watersheds. This approach engages diverse individuals and groups and emphasizes the use of management practices supported by science and technology. The watershed approach to planning uses a series of cooperative, iterative steps to characterize existing conditions, identify and prioritize problems, define objectives, develop protection or remediation strategies, and implement and adopt selected actions as necessary.
Kentucky approaches watershed planning through the Watershed Management Framework, utilizing the Watershed Planning Guidebook for Kentucky Communities and the Kentucky Watershed Leadership Academy to direct protection and restoration activities across the Commonwealth.
The purpose of the Kentucky Watershed Leadership Academy (KWLA) is to promote capacity building within the Commonwealth and train local leaders and provide them with the tools and skill sets to successfully champion the development and implementation of watershed plans.
Effective watershed planning requires science, technical, leadership, educational and social disciplines. The goal of the academy is to provide some basic information and skill-building exercises to help participants with the right questions to ask and where to go for additional resources. The required modules of the KWLA course are designed to assist participants with building skills in the areas of leadership, education and outreach, watershed analysis and management.
The watershed approach to planning uses a series of cooperative, iterative steps to characterize existing conditions, identify and prioritize problems, define objectives, develop protection or remediation strategies, and implement and adapt selected actions as necessary. The outcomes of this process are documented in a watershed plan.
A watershed plan is a strategy that provides assessment and management information for a geographically-defined watershed, including the analyses, actions, participants, and resources for developing and implementing the plan.
The Watershed Planning Guidebook for Kentucky Communities was created to help Kentuckians work together to improve and protect the waterways they appreciate and use. It provides a step-by-step process that Kentucky communities may use to create an effective watershed plan. Using this guidebook can help groups sustain the long-term focus needed to continue to protect and improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth.